Easy and Delicious Indian Gulab Jamun

Easy and Delicious Indian Gulab Jamun

The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 50 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
1543 Calories
102g Fat
145g Carbs
18g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 1543
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 102g 131%
Saturated Fat 24g 119%
Cholesterol 96mg 32%
Sodium 345mg 15%
Total Carbohydrate 145g 53%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 120g
Protein 18g
Vitamin C 3mg 13%
Calcium 562mg 43%
Iron 2mg 11%
Potassium 712mg 15%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Gulab jamun (or gulaab jamun) is among India's most popular desserts and is often referred to as "Indian doughnuts." This delicious treat consists of soft, melt-in-your-mouth, fried dumplings that are traditionally made of thickened or reduced milk and soaked in rose-flavored sugar syrup. This recipe uses powdered milk and heavy cream, but the results are just as delicious.

The name comes from two words. Gulab means "rose" and refers to the rose syrup. Jamun is a kind of deep purple-colored Indian berry, which the dark brown dumplings resemble after they're cooked. The rose-flavored syrup lends the dessert a beautiful fragrance and makes it feel both decadent and very special. Gulab jamun can be served warm or at room temperature and with a variety of extras to make the dessert even more exceptional. Best of all, it's relatively easy to make.

Ingredients

  • 6 cups water

  • 3 cups granulated sugar

  • 1 tablespoon cardamom powder

  • 2 tablespoons rose water

  • 3 cups powdered milk

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • Vegetable, canola, or sunflower oil (for frying)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Easy and Delicious Indian Gulab Jamun ingredients

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  2. In a deep pan, mix the water and sugar and boil until all the sugar is dissolved.

    sugar and water mixture boiling in a pot

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  3. Turn off the heat and add the cardamom powder and rose water. Mix well and set aside.

    cardamom powder and rose water mixed with the sugar and water mixture in the pot

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  4. In a large bowl, mix well the powdered milk, flour, and baking powder.

    powdered milk, flour, and baking powder in a bowl

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  5. A little at a time, add some of the heavy cream while kneading. You want to make a dough that is medium-soft but not sticky. You do not need to use all the cream, just enough to reach the desired consistency; the smoother it is, the better.

    dough in a bowl

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  6. Lightly grease the palms of your hands.

    greased hands with oil

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  7. Once the dough is ready, divide it into walnut-sized balls, rolling it between your palms until nice and smooth.

    Gulab Jamun dough rolled into small balls

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  8. While you are making the balls, heat the oil in a wide pan on low to medium heat. Use enough oil so the doughnuts will be submerged.

    skillet with oil

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  9. Carefully add the gulab jamun and fry, stirring often to brown on all sides.

    Gulab Jamun frying in a pan with oil

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  10. Once cooked, remove the doughnuts with a slotted spoon, allowing the oil to drain.

    Gulab Jamun removed from the pan with oil, with a slotted spoon

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  11. Transfer immediately into the rose syrup.

    Gulab Jamun in rose syrup

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  12. Repeat this until all the dumplings are cooked and in the syrup. Allow the gulab jamun to soak in the syrup for at least 2 hours before serving. 

    Easy and Delicious Indian Gulab Jamun in rose syrup

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Serving Suggestions

There are many ways that you can enjoy gulab jamun. They are delicious drained of the syrup as well as served in the syrup; it's also common to roll them in desiccated coconut. Warm gulab jamuns are also fantastic when topped with ice cream or a thick cream. You can also garnish the doughnuts with shavings of pistachio and a sprinkling of almonds if you wish.

Tips

  • Any cracks that show up when rolling the dough into balls get worse later and could lead to the doughnuts cracking as they are fried. This is not desirable, so take all the time you need to make sure the balls of dough are very smooth.
  • Do not cook the gulab jamun over very high heat as the dumplings will burn on the outside and remain raw inside.